When We Were

Seventy Five: I Might Have

“I’m sorry we have to get back to the hotel so early” Martha cooed as she placed her empty champagne glass back down onto the table “We have to get back and check on Felipe. I’d love to stay and celebrate a little longer” she added as she moved to take a hold of Emilia’s hand, gently turning it over so that she could admire the engagement ring which had taken up residence on her finger.

Emilia shook her head gently, unable to hide her smile as the ring slipped into her eye line again. She still couldn’t quite believe that she was wearing it. “It’s fine” she mused “We have to get back to Luca and Maisie too. How long are you staying in town for?” she asked, sneaking a quick glance towards Lionel who stood a little away from her, talking to Elias. Catching his eye, she felt her cheek flush a little pink as her grin grew a little, something which made Martha roll her eyes, a good-natured smile on her face.

“Seeing as there is about a ninety percentage chance that you’re not listening to me right now, I am just going to call you in the morning” Martha mused.

“Hm?” Emilia asked as she turned back to her friend.

Martha grinned before she tossed her arms around Emilia, hugging her tightly. “Just grab your new fiancé and get out of here, Moretti” she mumbled “I’ll call you tomorrow” she added.

Emilia hugged her back before she broke away, capturing Elias in a quick hug before he and Martha said their goodbyes. Stepping a little closer to Lionel, she grinned as he wrapped an arm around her waist before she raised a hand, waving to Martha as their taxi pulled away from the curb. Watching it down the street for a moment, she and Lionel stood in a comfortable silence before he gently took a hold of her hand, twining his fingers through hers. “Ready to get out of here?” he asked quietly.

Emilia nodded, her hand gently squeezing his. “Yeah” she breathed.

Lionel gently lifted her hand, kissing the back of it. “Let’s go, then” he mused, gently tugging her towards their own waiting taxi.

Emilia followed after him, allowing him to help her into the car, before he slid in next to her, his hand once more wrapping around hers gently. Offering her a little smile, he squeezed her hand softly, causing Emilia to shake her head, her expression still brightened by the goofy grin that had graced it since he’d asked.

Lionel tilted his head, chuckling gently. “You’re still smiling” he pointed out.

“Did you want me to stop?” Emilia asked amusedly.

“No” Lionel replied with a playful shake of his head.

Emilia giggled, shaking her head. “We’re going to have to get out ahead of this” she announced after a couple of moments of comfortable quiet.

Lionel, who’d been toying with her fingers, nodded, grinning down at their hands. “People are definitely going to have pictures of me asking” he noted.

“That’s probably true” Emilia replied “But I was thinking more about Martha. She’s always been a bit of a gossip and this is...well, it’s pretty massive” she added, gently pushing the ring around her finger.

Lionel smiled as he watched her. “We don’t need to hesitate in telling people” he announced “Everyone already knows that I was thinking about asking” he added.

Emilia tilted her head up to look at him. “Everyone?” she asked.

“I kind of told your mother and Jordi at Christmas” Lionel confirmed with a nonchalant shrug “They told your papa, too. I told my parents a while ago too, and they told my siblings. The guys on the team all know too, plus some of your friends back in Argentina. Isaac knows too, Luca told him” he added.

“Luca knows?” Emilia prodded.

Lionel’s smile grew a little sheepish. “I might have...talked to him about it” he admitted gently “I mean, this affects him too. I just wanted to make sure that he didn’t...object to the idea too much” he explained carefully.

Emilia bit down on her lip, trying to stifle the smile which itched to light up her features. “You asked him for his blessing?” she asked.

Lionel nodded once. “It felt like the right thing to do” he noted.

Emilia cupped a hand around his cheek, gently pulling closer so that she could kiss him. “That is so cute” she whispered between kisses “I love it” she added, gently pushing her fingers back through his hair.

Lionel’s cheeks were pink even in the dim light of the taxi’s backseat. “He seemed to think I was a good thing in your life” he noted “Said that I make you happy. He’s a very insightful kid, Em, you must be so proud of him” he babbled shyly.

Emilia just grinned at him before she leant up, pressing a soft kiss against his temple. “I love you” she whispered against his skin.

“Yeah?” Lionel breathed out with a little laugh.

Emilia smiled, resting her forehead against his temple for a few moments before she pulled away, looking out of the window as the car sped through the streets. Feeling Lionel’s hand on hers, she grinned to herself, unable to stop it. “How were you going to do it?” she asked after a few minutes.

“Huh?” Lionel spluttered, breaking out of his own thoughts.

“If I hadn’t found the ring” Emilia clarified as she turned back towards him “Was there a grand plan?” she asked with an impish smile.

“About a hundred” Lionel replied with a little laugh “I thought about loads of different scenarios. Some private, some public. I thought about involving the kids, your family, my teammates...I really over thought it, probably because I was pretty nervous” he added.

Emilia quirked an eyebrow amusedly. “You thought I would say no?” she asked.

Lionel offered her a shrug, a nervous laugh falling out of his mouth. “You might have done” he noted “I mean, I didn’t think you would, but until you had actually said ‘yes’ I couldn’t rule out the possibility that you might” he added.

Emilia cuddled into his side, kissing his jaw gently. “It was always going to be a yes” she mumbled “My favourite ‘yes’” she added.

Lionel grinned down at her. “It’s my favourite too” he played along.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)